The search results can vary from person to person and from day to day. We want to make sure that the results the clients see match their requirements and expectations and that as many profiles of professional freelancers as possible get a chance to show up in search.
Thank you for the explanation. You're right, I tried the same search in a different browser without logging in, and the results are completely different. Job success isn't even displayed -- that's only visible when you're logged in I suppose. But when you say results vary 'from day to day' and that you make sure 'as many profiles of professional freelancers as possible get a chance to show up in search', are you acknowledging that some sort of shuffling takes place, even if it's not in random order? Stephen B elsewhere mentioned something similar regarding invitations, that you distribute them in some way so that many freelancers get invitations, and not necessarily the most qualifed freelancers.
Yes, it is correct regarding the search results. We do not distribute invitations, however. Only the client or hiring manager can invite freelancers to apply for a posting.
I suppose what I meant was that the invitations come in spurts because Upwork has tinkered with the visibility in searches - so If you're visible in a search you're likely to get more invitations...
It's funny because this same conversation is happening over on the Elance forums (where I do most of my work - I identify as an Elancer). Isn't keyword search the most basic search function in all of history? We're not asking for a Google algorithm!